School counselor was not my first career choice. I was a teacher before I was a school counselor. I had all the signs of being a teacher since I was a child. I was bossy, loved to color and loved to talk! I still do! Of course, as I learned what it really meant to be a teacher I was sure that this profession was for me. I loved learning and just wanted to share that with youth.
I attended a California public college, which is now one of the top colleges in California, and decided that I did not need a fancy name college to become a teacher. At first, like many teenagers in their first year of college, I had no clue what to major in. I loved English literature, which is why I wanted to be a teacher, so that is what I majored in. WRONG! I found out, in order to become a high school English teacher, I was to major in English Education and choose an option. I chose Literature.
Getting the credential
The next step after obtaining a Bachelor’s degree is to get something called a Single Subject Credential. I could teach grades 6-12th with this credential. Perfect! At the college I attended, the credential program was not a part of the Bachelor’s degree/program. It was a post-baccalaureate degree. That meant that I had to re- apply to the university and the credential program after I earned my degree. The process to obtain the credential took a year and a half. The first year was classes and the last semester was student teaching.
I wanted to student teach in an area that I was familiar with. It was in a city I went to high school. It was a semester long assignment and was during the spring semester. I heard stories about how dreadful starting in the middle of the year was but I did not buy into that. My student teacher supervisor asked me to choose three high schools I was interested in and he would set up everything for me. Love this! I ended up at my ideal school, with three master teachers. Yep, you read that right! I loved all of my master teachers and had a wonderful student teaching experience. I taught 2 sections of English 9 and 1 section of an elective English course of 11th and 12th graders.
Getting the official credential
I turned in all of the appropriate paperwork to my credential office at the college and applied with the CCTC. During this time I interviewed with three school districts and was offered a job right away.
My first teaching assignment was English 9 and 9th grade AVID. I loved it. This was the perfect career for me! In November the 12th grade English teacher left unexpectedly and I became the 12th grade English teacher. Thank you student teaching! I love teaching freshmen but seniors were even more fun. They were a tough crowd but they made my job amazing and I learned so much. They welcomed me and I was able to teach works of literature that I loved and wanted to share. Remember, that 11/12th grade elective English course? I used a lot of that material to design my lessons for the seniors. I incorporated a lot of the writing lessons I learned in my credential program in my teaching because I knew how much these seniors would write in college.
My work with teenagers and personal experiences led me to the next step in my career… Stay tuned!
Why did you become a school counselor? Why do you want to become a school counselor?